So many housing projects completed in Skellefteå in 2022

Construction cranes, rerouted roads and transformed areas.

The image of the new Skellefteå growing at the seams has become a common sight. Now it is also clear that 800 new homes will be completed in 2022.

- These are much rosier numbers than in 2011 when we sold a single villa plot. In 2023, at least as many homes will be built and we will continue to create opportunities for those who want to build, says Patrik Larsen, Head of Land and Development at Skellefteå Municipality.

To make room for more new Skellefteå residents, work is being done on many fronts within Skellefteå municipality. Land and settlement issues in particular have been at a peak for a few years now, and the fruits of this strategic work can be seen - not least on the housing side, where more new houses and blocks have sprung up, ready for occupancy.

A recent tally shows that 800 new homes were completed in 2022. A welcome addition in a Skellefteå where demand remains high. We only need to turn a few pages in the history book, back to 2018, to get a completely different picture of the situation, showing the development that has taken place in Skellefteå.

- In 2018, we were at between 50-150 new homes in a year. In 2023, there will be more than 800 homes completed, and some projects currently look set to continue into early 2024. To make the increase from around 100 to almost 1000 just in the space of a couple of years is unique and somewhat incredible," says Patrik.

The unique increase in the number of construction projects has meant that the work pressure on Patrik and his colleagues has increased significantly.

- I'd say we're still going fast. Take Erikslid, for example, which has grown by 450 apartments. The time from when we started work on a new zoning plan to occupancy is 4.5 years. That's incredibly fast considering the size and complexity of building in that area. I would think there are very few places that can match that timeframe in the country, that's probably how fast you can do it," says Patrik.

The forecast that the municipality has been working to is that between 1,000 and 1,500 homes need to be added each year to meet future demand.

- What we are looking at is when housing can be ready. When will they be available for new and existing Skellefteå residents to move into? To cope with the volume, we have focused on rental housing because it also creates a smooth establishment for those moving to Skellefteå and we will continue with that until 2025. In the slightly longer term, we need to have more focus on more small houses and townhouses because that is what people demand here.

There are things that the municipality can do in the long term to make it easier for other land developers.

- By developing new building rights for housing in new zoning plans, we create opportunities to build. Here we need to have foresight and ensure that we have a surplus, something of a "building rights reserve" so that there are opportunities to build when there is demand. We also need to expand beyond Skellefteå's city limits," says Patrik.

Unfortunately, there are some dark clouds in the construction sky around Sweden, including over Skellefteå. A faltering economy, rising interest rates, increased commodity prices - all play a role, of course, when construction companies are counting on projects.

- My impression is that things have been looking really good but have slowed down a bit. We're working hard to see how the municipality can best be an enabler," he says.

While he's in the middle of a merry-go-round that's spinning faster and faster, it's useful to reflect on the situation.

- It's much more fun when there's a demand and people think you're working too slowly than the opposite. This interest in Skellefteå and what we do is inspiring and I hear a lot of positive things from my colleagues around Sweden who look at us, both good and not so good decisions. You can't run at this pace without taking a few missteps too. No one else has been in our position, so it will be interesting to see how we have worked with the temporary housing issue, how we are creating industrial estates and how we have worked with the establishment work," says Patrik.


Senast uppdaterad:
2 March 2023